For Robbie, knowing that he wanted to be a father meant leaving the religion in which he grew up. “I wanted a family, and I knew I couldn’t have that in my church.” Three years after leaving, Robbie met now husband, Neal, and together they decided to foster a child.
With help and guidance from Extraordinary Families, Robbie and Neal welcomed Little Man* into their home with hopes of adopting him. “It has been a miracle to watch. It really restores my faith in just being a human being. We see how much change he has experienced, and how much growth, and I think: I can do that too. I can keep growing and changing and healing.”
After caring for Little Man for two months, they learned their foster son was going to be reunified with his birth family in another state. Being fully committed to the very best outcome for Little Man, they slowly transitioned him to living with his birth family over a nine month period. Although they suffered deep feelings of grief and loss, after some time Robbie and Neal agreed they were ready to foster another child, “there was never a moment we considered not trying again. We just knew we would. Even if we had to deal with that pain 100 times before we had a kid stay with us.” But before they could have that conversation with the agency, they found out the Little Man was going to return to them.
Now after two years with Little Man in their care, Robbie believes that he is living with the values he grew up with by fostering a child. “I have found heaven, I have found charity, I have found in my family all the things that were so important to me in this religion that I grew up in. This is my belief now – build your family, take care of each other, and just love each other. This is what matters.”
Robbie and Neal are in the process of adopting Little Man, a nickname given to the child to protect his identity.